Unbeaten table-toppers Barcelona head into the match with a four-point lead over third-placed Real Madrid, who warmed up for the Clasico with a convincing 3-0 win over Liverpool in the Champions League on Wednesday night.
Barca, who were afforded 24 hours more rest, recorded an equally comfortable 3-1 victory over Ajax at the Camp Nou.
After weeks of waiting, Barcelona will finally be able to hand a competitive debut to summer signing Luis Suarez. All eyes will be on the controversial Uruguay international as he aims to endear himself to the club’s supporters with a match-winning performance on his very first appearance for the club.
Ronaldo v Messi
Over the past few years this match has been billed as a direct battle between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo - and once again world football’s two greatest players will be vying for individual supremacy.
- Luis Suarez to make Barcelona debut in El Clasico
- El Clasico: 3 reasons why Barcelona will win
- El Clasico: 3 reasons why Real Madrid will win
Ronaldo is currently in unstoppable form. The Portuguese star, and current holder of the Ballon d’Or award, has scored a ridiculous 15 goals in his seven La Liga appearances so far this season. Messi, meanwhile, has netted a more modest seven.
Even Neymar, another of superstar to keep a close eye on, has scored more goals than Messi this term. The Brazilian sensation has struck eight times at the start of this season and will be desperate to add to his tally at the Bernabeu.
Real Madrid: Casillas; Marcelo, Pepe, Ramos, Carvajal; Kroos, Modric, James; Isco, Benzema, Ronaldo.
Subs: Navas, Arbeloa, Nacho, Varane, Illarramendi, Khedira, & Hernandez.
Barcelona: Bravo; Alves, Piqué, Mascherano, Mathieu; Xavi, Busquets, Iniesta; Neymar, Messi, Suarez
The big news is that Suarez starts for Barcelona. The South American starts in a lethal-looking three-pronged attack alongside Messi and Neymar.
One Galactico ruled out of the much, unfortunately, is Gareth Bale. But Isco, who has been in great form recently, comes in to replace the Wales international.
Meanwhile, Sergio Ramos starts in place of Raphael Varane.